In the past, I have had a few mishaps bicycling from work, and yesterday, as I was about to leave for home, I noticed that I had a flat tire. A small piece of glass had punctured through my expensive yet supposedly impenetrable Gatorskin tire and created a slow leak. As I do most days, I left my bike parked in the NYU bike lot behind the Stern School of Business. The lot has been there for as long as I’ve been here, and it’s been a great benefit since I moved to Queens and commute to Bobst every weekday.
In the past year, the NYU Bike program has installed a bike repair station at our bike lot. The repair station has a pump and tethered set of tools, including a 15mm track wheel wrench, bike levers, and common allen wrenches. At the station, I managed fill up my flat tire to about 80 PSI and ride to the nearest bike shop to get a new tube. I rode back to the bike lot, with only about 20 PSI left in the tube, and proceeded to replace the slowly leaking tube. After filling it to 110 PSI, I pedaled home.
In all fairness, I usually bring one of those tool bags that fits under my seat, but I hadn’t been bringing it because I was overly optimistic about the Gatorskin’s ability to resist punctures in New York City. When it comes to New York’s road conditions, which border on third-world in terms of quality, there is no such thing as true puncture resistance.